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I am looking for ways to test whether something that (at least superficially) looks like a conditional actually has the necessary properties to qualify as one. Are there any such established semantic or syntactic tests for conditionality? Any suggestions for possible properties that go along with conditionality I should look into are welcome as well.
I am thinking of something similar to, for example, how one can test negations using NPIs.

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  • Negation is real and has real linguistic effects that can be detected. "Conditionality" per se is not a logical or syntactic feature; people sometimes ask questions here about "the N-th conditional", but that's just ESL jargon, not anything real in the language. Nobody so far has pointed to any semantic or syntactic tests that can be used to determine it, anyway. – jlawler Apr 20 at 15:07
  • A very big,in fact enormous, hole on your question is that not all conditionals exhibit conditionality and not all sentences, or pairs of sentences that exhibit conditionality are conditionals!!! – Araucaria - him Apr 25 at 23:09

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